Herne Hill Youth Team Track Championships and other news

Molly Barker, Elise Whitaker and Ellie Mitchinson excelled in their first team pursuit

They say one swallow does not make a summer, two wrongs don’t make a right, so what does three teenage girls make?

In the case of members, Molly Barker (first year U16), Elise Whitaker (U14) and long time friend and regular training partner Ellie Mitchinson (U14) from CC Ashwell, one determined and focused U14/U16 girls track team.

Despite not having raced as a team before, the three girls decided to enter the Friends of Herne Hill Youth Team Track Championships. The event included a team pursuit which none of them had any experience in, so they asked the Welwyn coaching team for some specific training – big thanks to Ben and Scott for their support – and in the days leading up to the event, organised a virtual team meeting to agree who was going to race which event and discuss tactics. 

On 6th June the team descended on the historic Herne Hill Velodrome and under the shade of the Welwyn Wheelers’ gazebo, the girls organised themselves throughout the day with minimal input needed from their wider support team. 

The event consisted of seven events. Three individual – sprint, individual pursuit and keirin (behind the human banana!), three two-person team events (elimination, scratch and Madison), and ending with the team pursuit. Each rider rode in three events plus the team pursuit.

The girls were up against seven other teams, comprising mainly of U16 riders, from VCL, Palmer Park and East Midlands among others. They consistently racked up points throughout the day, scoring points in five of the first six events, with all three girls contributing. Entering the final event, with overall positions still to play for, and double points in the team pursuit, the three girls rode their socks off to record the fourth quickest time. This secured sixth place in the final overall standings.

A great experience for Molly, Elise and Ellie who were great ambassadors for the club with positive comments received from other teams regarding how they handled themselves both on and off the track. They are determined to return in 2022 to improve on their position.

Elijah Wins Again

Last week made the Youth boys made a long trip to the Lotus race track near Norwich to compete in the Lotus Cars Cycle Race League. In the U12 race a lone rider got away with Elijah Storti closing the gap to bridge across and leave the rest of the field behind. The pair then raced together before Elijah came to the front on the last lap and sprinted out of the final corner to win his second race of this season.

In the Youth A race the squad was Ethan Storti, Mark Lightfoot and Tom Pruett in his first road race. The field settled into a bunch about 10 strong. The last half of the final lap stretched it out with Mark narrowly missing out on the sprint to claim second with Ethan 3rd. Ride of the day from Tom who not only stayed in the bunch but ended up 8th beating a couple of riders on the line – we are hoping he becomes a regular at races now.

The going was harder at the Loughborough Cycling Festival on Bank Holiday Monday which incorporated the first round of the National Youth Series. The tough crit circuit with technical sections was a real test. Mark Lightfoot was best placed at the end with 13th place in the Youth A category, Calum Moir finish 21st and Ellen Phillips 50th in the Youth A Girls. Ethan unfortunately face-planted in a spectacular crash but fortunately didn’t break any bones and is now back on his bike.

Fifteen Mile TT Record?

Phil Skinner and James Johnson rode the Cambridge CC 15 mile TT on Sunday 30th May on the F2 course.  Fifteen miles is a ‘standard’ time trial distance but not commonly used and it was James’ first time so a PB was guaranteed.  It was a breezy day and the wind was in the ‘wrong’ direction for this course, so it wasn’t going to be particularly fast.  Nevertheless Hayley Simmonds managed to average 30.15mph and only missed the women’s national record by 3 seconds stopping the clock at 29:51.  James’ more modest time was 35:37 and Phil Skinner managed a slightly better 35:00, which might still may be a club record? (subject to verification).